Synopses & Reviews
At a time when speculative fiction seems less and less far-fetched, Margaret Atwood lends her distinctive voice and singular point of view to the genre in a series of essays that brilliantly illuminates the essential truths about the modern world. This is an exploration of her relationship with the literary form we have come to know as "science fiction,” a relationship that has been lifelong, stretching from her days as a child reader in the 1940s, through her time as a graduate student at Harvard, where she worked on the Victorian ancestor of the form, and continuing as a writer and reviewer. This book brings together her three heretofore unpublished Ellmann Lectures from 2010: "Flying Rabbits," which begins with Atwood's early rabbit superhero creations, and goes on to speculate about masks, capes, weakling alter egos, and Things with Wings; "Burning Bushes," which follows her into Victorian otherlands and beyond; and "Dire Cartographies," which investigates Utopias and Dystopias. In Other Worlds
also includes some of Atwood's key reviews and thoughts about the form. Among those writers discussed are Marge Piercy, Rider Haggard, Ursula Le Guin, Ishiguro, Bryher, Huxley, and Jonathan Swift. She elucidates the differences (as she sees them) between "science fiction" proper, and "speculative fiction," as well as between "sword and sorcery/fantasy" and "slipstream fiction." For all readers who have loved The Handmaid's Tale
, Oryx and Crake
, and The Year of the Flood
, In Other Worlds
is a must.
From the Hardcover edition.
The author of The Handmaid’s Tale
and Oryx and Crake
engagingly explores her lifelong relationship to science fiction, both as a reader and as a writer.
At a time when the borders between literary genres are increasingly porous, Margaret Atwood maps the richly fertile crosscurrents of speculative and science fiction, slipstream, utopias and dystopias, and fantasy, and muses on their roots in the age-old human impulse to imagine new worlds. She shares the evolution of her personal fascination with this branch of literature, from her days as a child inventing a race of flying superhero rabbits, to her graduate study of the Victorian ancestors of SF to her appreciations of such influential writers as Marge Piercy, Rider Haggard, Ursula K. LeGuin, Kazuo Ishiguro, Aldous Huxley, and Jonathan Swift. As humorous and charming as it is insightful and provocative, In Other Worlds brilliantly illuminates “the wilder storms on the wilder seas of invention.”
About the Author
Margaret Atwood’s books have been published in over forty countries. She is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize; and her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.